How Long Do Fluorescent Bulbs Last

Fluorescent light bulbs are a popular choice for home and office lighting because they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. But, how long do fluorescent bulbs last, exactly?


The lifespan of a fluorescent bulb varies depending on the type of bulb, but most last between 20,000 and 34,000 hours.

It’s no secret that fluorescent bulbs are becoming more and more popular in homes and businesses across the globe. They are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs, but they also last much longer.

To make the most of your fluorescent lightbulbs, choose the right type for your needs and follow the proper care instructions. Keep reading to know more.

Summary: Fluorescent bulbs are known for their energy efficiency and longer lifespan compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The average lifespan of a fluorescent bulb depends on various factors, such as the type of fluorescent bulb, the operating conditions, and the frequency of usage.

Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) typically have a lifespan ranging from 6,000 to 15,000 hours, while linear fluorescent tubes can last anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 hours or more. The lifespan of a fluorescent bulb can be affected by factors such as temperature, humidity, and the number of times the bulb is switched on and off.

Frequent on-off cycles can shorten the life of a fluorescent bulb, as the wear and tear on the components are greater during startup. To maximize the lifespan of your fluorescent bulbs, it is advisable to use them in areas where they can remain switched on for longer periods, and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation and maintenance.

10 Factors That Affect How Long Do Fluorescent Bulbs Last

1. Average Running Time

Fluorescent bulbs last longest when used for long periods, such as in a basement or an office. If left on for shorter periods, they will still last a long time but not as long as if they were left on constantly.

2. Quality of the Bulb

Like with anything else, there is a lot of variation in the quality of fluorescent bulbs. So, naturally, cheaper bulbs will not last as long as more expensive ones. However, most fluorescent bulbs will last between 20,000 and 34,000 hours. But, some high-quality bulbs may last even longer.

3. Length of the Bulb

The length of a fluorescent bulb also affects how long it will last. Longer bulbs tend to have a shorter lifespan than shorter bulbs. The longer the bulb, the more surface area there is for heat to build up. And, as we all know, heat is one of the enemies of electronics.

4. Temperature of the Room

Fluorescent bulbs tend to last the longest in cooler rooms. This is because the heat generated by the bulb is more likely to dissipate in a cooler room than in a hot one. So, if you want your bulbs to last as long as possible, try to keep them in a cool, well-ventilated space.


5. Quality of the Power Supply

The quality of the power supply also affects how long a fluorescent bulb will last. If the power supply is of poor quality, it can cause the bulb to flicker or burn out prematurely. If the current is too high, it can also damage the bulb.

6. Number of Starts

Fluorescent bulbs last longest when turned on and off as little as possible. However, small wear and tear occur every time a bulb is turned on. So, if you want your bulbs to last a long time, try to limit the number of times you turn them on and off.

7. Fitting Type

The type of fitting also affects the lifespan of a fluorescent bulb. Bulbs fitted with an electronic ballast tend to last longer than those fitted with a magnetic ballast. An electronic ballast is more efficient and protects the bulb from power surges.

8. Voltage Spikes

Voltage spikes can cause fluorescent bulbs to flicker or burn out prematurely. In addition, a voltage spike either from lightning or from the power grid can cause damage to the filaments inside the bulb.


To help prevent voltage spikes from damaging your bulbs, you can install a surge protector. A surge protector will absorb any excess voltage and help keep your bulbs last longer.

9. Burn Time of the Bulb

The burn time of a fluorescent bulb is the amount of time that the bulb is lit before it needs to be turned off. The longer the burn time, the shorter the lifespan of the bulb.

This is because the filament inside the bulb will degrade over time and eventually break. So to help prolong the life of your bulbs, try to keep their burn time as short as possible.

10. Cycling

Cycling is when a fluorescent bulb is turned on and off multiple times quickly. This can cause the bulb to flicker or burn out prematurely. If you need to cycle your bulbs, try to do so as slowly as possible to help prolong their lifespan.

Tips to Increase the Longevity of Fluorescent Bulbs:

1. Limit the number of times you turn the bulb on and off. Every time you turn a fluorescent bulb on, it causes the filament inside to heat up and cool down again. This process can shorten the lifespan of the bulb.

2. Use a lower wattage bulb. Higher wattage bulbs produce more light, but they also generate more heat, which can shorten the bulb’s lifespan.

3. Avoid using the bulb in extreme temperatures. Fluorescent bulbs are designed to be used in temperatures between -20 and 40 degrees Celsius. Using the bulb outside of this range can shorten its lifespan.

4. Keep the bulb clean. Dust and dirt can build up on the bulb’s surface and cause it to overheat, which can shorten the lifespan of the bulb.

5. Store the bulb in a cool, dry place. Fluorescent bulbs are sensitive to humidity and extreme temperatures. Storing the bulb in a cool, dry place will help to prolong its lifespan.

6. Use a surge protector to protect the bulb from power surges. Power surges can damage the filament inside the bulb and shorten its lifespan.

7. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Each type of fluorescent bulb is different and has its own set of instructions. Following the manufacturer’s instructions while installing and using the bulb will help prolong its lifespan.

With proper care and usage, fluorescent bulbs can last a long time. By following the tips above, you can help ensure that your bulbs last as long as possible.

What Are the Advantages of Fluorescent Bulbs?

Fluorescent bulbs have several advantages over other types of bulbs. They are more energy efficient, last longer, and produce less heat.


1. Energy Efficiency: Fluorescent bulbs are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. They use less electricity to produce the same or more amount of light. This means saving money on your energy bills by using fluorescent bulbs.

2. Longer Life: Fluorescent bulbs also last longer than incandescent bulbs. They can last for up to 25,000 hours. This means that you won’t have to replace them as often.

3. Less Heat: Fluorescent bulbs also produce less heat than incandescent bulbs. This is important because it means that they are safer to use and won’t add to the heat in your home in the summer.

Do Fluorescent Bulbs Last a Long Time?

Fluorescent bulbs are designed to last a long time, typically 20,000 to 34,000 hours. However, many factors can affect a fluorescent bulb’s lifespan, such as how often it is turned on and off, the temperature of the room, and the type of ballast used.

However, fluorescent bulbs last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. One of the benefits of fluorescent bulbs is that they require less maintenance than other bulbs.

While an incandescent bulb will typically need to be replaced every 750 to 1,000 hours, a fluorescent bulb can last ten times. This means that you won’t have to replace your fluorescent bulbs as often, saving you time and money.


Fluorescent bulbs vary in how long they last, but typically they will need to be replaced every year or two. Make sure you know how often your fluorescent bulbs will need to be replaced so that you can budget for this expense and avoid being caught without light.

Fluorescent light bulbs can last up to 20,000 hours or more with proper care. So if you’re looking for an energy-efficient and long-lasting light bulb option, fluorescent lights are a great choice.

We hope this guide has given you a clear about how long do fluorescent bulbs last. Have you tried using fluorescent light bulbs in your home or office? How do you like them? Let us know in the comments below!

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